apple huckleberry pie may flowers and silent auction gnocchi with morels and sage shrimp tatsuta-age


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archive for November 2009

come photowalk with me (beth)

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Isn’t this a lovely view of this thin sliver of the moon setting over the Continental Divide? I managed to catch it last week while I was making dinner.


crescent moonset from my deck



Jeremy and I piled the dog and our stuff into the car and drove down to my ILs’ house for a short visit this weekend. They happen to live in the mountains of southern Colorado at 7500 feet above sea level – so it’s like being home for us but in a different location (did that make any sense?). Whenever we turn onto their road, Kaweah begins to cry because she LOVES this place and has so much fun here. We spent the weekend playing Wii, sewing, going for walks in the woods, having great food, and watching all three dogs get the crazies.

they have nice sunsets from their deck too

dinner at keyah grande (jeremy’s duck)

puppies at attention! (left to right: bumpy, buffle, kaweah)

mil has the coolest sewing room ever

driving home through the san luis valley



On Saturday night, we went to dinner at Keyah Grande, a stunning and exclusive resort in southwestern Colorado. We were given permission to take ourselves on a tour of the opulent, yet incredible building before sitting down to a truly inspired and delightful meal. Sadly, the place is closing on December 31st and will go on the market for any interested buyer. Have you got $12 million to spare?

a chihuly greets you in the foyer



The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! I have been asking Jeremy for the past month if there is anything in particular he wants to eat for Thanksgiving and the boy keeps coming back to seafood. We have no plans for the upcoming holiday other than to get a lot of work done and maybe have some fun if there is time. I know it’s incredibly unsentimental of us, but the thought of eating outrageous amounts of food just makes me sleepy and depressed. I’m craving fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and I need to get my ski on, plain and simple. We’re staying put for at least a month and I’m thankful – so very thankful – for that. Travel has a way of discombobulating me. So I apologize ahead of time if I’m not providing any Thanksgiving inspiration here. Besides, there is more inspiration than you can shake a stick at on the internet(s) right now.

Which brings me to another photowalk that I’ve been meaning to post. I was working with Beth for the past few months on photography – wedding photography, landscape photography, and post processing techniques. I can talk about photography until I am blue in the face, but the most efficient and effective way for me to teach anyone about photography is for me to show them how I work and explain what I am doing (and why) and then to let that person work, ask questions, give feedback. Beth and I had a great time on the fall shoot in September, so it was a no-brainer to get her out for a photowalk.


everyone, meet beth!



Beth: Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-f/4.5G AF-S DX
Jen: Nikon D3x with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8G ED

Beth came up to my place last month to work on some post processing of a wedding she had shot. It happened to snow the day before and so we decided to get our photowalk in before all of the snow melted in the town of Nederland. We walked under overcast skies and temperatures hovering near freezing. When we got to the town center, Beth turned and asked what the rules of photowalk are. We both laughed and said, “The first rule of photowalk is, you do not talk about photowalk. The second rule of photowalk is, YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT PHOTOWALK…” Okay, but seriously, the rules are: the photogs take turns choosing five locations at which to stop and shoot about five frames each. Easy peasy, right?


beth location #1: shot 3

jen location #1: shot 5



**Jump for more butter**

something has got to give

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Recipe: candied calamansi limes

There is so much going on here at urb and the holidays are poised just around the corner like a prank waiting to smack me in the face. It’s GREAT! Who doesn’t love being a frenzied mess? I get so much more done that way. Let’s quit with the chit chat and get to brass tacks.

this one is from the heart
Giveaways here, giveaways there. I wasn’t planning on a giveaway right now because we have a big one coming up to celebrate a certain black dog’s birthday. However, with Thanksgiving around the corner I’ve been thinking less about planning a giant meal (um, I still don’t know what we’re having for dinner and I’m not really caring at this point) and thinking more about what I’m thankful for. After this last trip to California where I sat in the back of the bus with some of my favorite food bloggers and talked about… BLOGGING, I was saddened to hear about the hateful comments and emails these fine people occasionally receive. In general, food blog readers are quite supportive. I have to say I felt a warm glow inside when I thought about my readers – you guys. I’m thankful that I have this awesome online community of fun, witty, creative, and caring people. And because you give me warm fuzzies, I’d like to give you a warm fuzzy in return.


one i made for katie in manos del uruguay wool (sage multi colorway)



Everything I’ve given away on the blog has been out of my pocket thus far. Today, I’m announcing a little giveaway that is from my pocket, my hands, and my heart. It’s a scarf. I haven’t made it yet! That’s because I want YOU to pick the colorway of the yarn. I’ve already selected the pattern: My So Called Scarf because um… it has to be something that I can actually knit and it’s a pattern that works for a man (all two of you) or a woman. Even if you don’t want a scarf, it makes a lovely gift for someone else. The winner will get to select one of these gorgeous yarns. I recommend choosing a multi (variegated) yarn because it looks particularly nice with the pattern. So here are the rules, kiddos:

1) Leave a comment on this post and share what Thanksgiving is about to you. Even if you don’t celebrate Yankee Thanksgiving, what does it mean to you? No novels, please :)

2) You have until midnight Mountain Standard Time (GMT minus 7 hours) on Wednesday, November 25th to enter (so 12:01 am will be Thanksgiving Day here).

3) Multiple comments from same person will be disqualified.

4) The winner will be selected at Crazy Random by The Dog and The Astrophysicist and announced on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009.

5) I will ship worldwide.

6) Good luck!

Not too long ago, my dear friends Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple shipped me a package of sharp objects I couldn’t fly home with from BlogHer Food 09. They included several precious fruits from their yard in the care package. [Okay, Diane told me last week that the passion fruits were bought because their passion fruit vines weren’t producing much – this does not diminish my gratitude one iota.] I ate the dragonfruits, froze the passion fruit pulp, and then what to do with those calamansi limes?


remember these?

i like that the lime is orange



**Jump for more butter**

it’s a little meatier

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Recipe: grilled steak and cheese sandwich

Congratulations to Laura of Laura’s Best Recipes for winning the Quaker Oats challenge! My sincerest thanks to all of you who took me and Farm to School to the finals! You all are wonderful. While I’m disappointed that we didn’t win $10,000 for Farm to School, I think we raised awareness of the awesome work they are doing. You can always contribute independently – it is a great organization that gets at the root of helping farmers and helping our school children both immediately and for the long haul.

I can’t tell you how many times I have driven between 1 to 6 hours in order to get to a dark sky site and wait all night for meteor showers back in the day. I’ve gone with friends, but mostly I’ve gone with Jeremy. Jeremy and I would drive 4-6 hours out of Los Angeles to escape the light pollution and it was always on a weeknight so that we’d leave home sometime after dinner, arrive at the dark sky site by midnight, then watch for four hours and drive back bleary-eyed at 4 am only to hit the CRAZY 6 am traffic from Lancaster into the LA basin and then drag our carcasses into work. That made for some big headaches, let me tell you. These days, I just step out onto my deck and see if the weather is cooperating. When the skies are clear here, we can see the Milky Way as plain as if someone smacked you in the face with it. It is stunning to behold, every time. Some might think it would grow old seeing this on a daily basis, but like the beautiful mountains I live in – I never tire of seeing the Milky Way. I never tire of seeing the Pleiades overhead or Orion rising in the winter to chase them across the sky or Venus setting in the west. Ever since I was a little girl I would gaze up at the moon, the stars, the night sky. I still do. It takes my breath away.

All that to say, I did see Leonids last night. I find shooting stars to be mesmerizing. I didn’t capture any to share, because even though I had enough foresight to call my neighbor to ask that they turn off any lights overnight, I didn’t call the OTHER neighbor who leaves this crazy giant floodlight on – which reflects remarkably well off all of the snow on the ground. *squinty eyes* Guess I’ll have two phone calls to make next time.

Right. There is snow on the ground, but it’s fast melting away because we here in Colorado get a lot of snow and a lot of sun. It’s a perfect combination especially on a blue bird morning.


beautiful and familiar view from my deck



I’m still sorting my brain, my photos, my schtuff from last week and will be sharing that fantastic trip with you soon enough (when brain is in order). I landed in Denver on Friday and raced the snow storm home (it beat me), fed the dog, downloaded photos, wiped a CF card clean, and headed back to Boulder just in time to pick up Jeremy and arrive at the Culinary School of the Rockies (CSR) Harvest Dinner. We had been invited by Sarah Blecher, the lovely woman I met at the Savory Spice Shop shoot. I have a special place in my heart for CSR because that’s where I learned how to make pastries and how to adjust for high altitude (it’s still an ongoing learning process, but at least I’m no longer floundering about like a turtle on its back thanks to CSR). When I walk into the professional kitchen, I almost feel like I’m coming home – it is that familiar for me. The people who work there are wonderful, happy, and enthusiastic. They teach, they learn, they have fun.

The Harvest Dinner is a meal planned, prepared, and served by the Culinary Arts Farm to Table Program students to a dining room of about 60 guests. I was so excited to go back into the kitchen and watch the students in action! You’d think after a week of fine food and fine wine that I’d be sick of it. To that I say: ELASTIC WAISTBANDS are your friends.


best plate of the night: ale-brined pork belly with polenta and apple cider reduction

a student preps the pappardelle



We sat with several members of the CSR staff and friends talking about the local restaurant and food scene, CSR classes and programs, food, wine, and more food. I feel fortunate that a town the size of Boulder can boast its own Culinary School and still offer fun home classes for cooking enthusiasts. CSR has a strong involvement with the local community as well – and that’s a great thing for all of us.

another winner: sherry-braised chick peas

students quickly gather to serve apple brioche bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce



Overall, the meal was superbly executed. I kept thinking to myself, “I must get these recipes!” followed by “I need to not eat for the next month.” You can see more photos from the evening on my photo blog. But now, it’s time for a recipe so simple that the only reason I don’t make it more often is because you’d have to plunger me through the door.

hello pretty ribeye steak, i think i love you

make that, i *definitely* love you



**Jump for more butter**